58th Western International Forest Disease Work Conference (WIFDWC)
Valemount, British Columbia
October 4-8, 2010
This year’s WIFDWC will be located in Valemount which lies in the heart of the Robson Valley – a geographic region of British Columbia that comprises the northern Rocky Mountain Trench. Valemount is a small village nestled between three mountain ranges; the Rocky Mountains, the Monashee Mountains, and the Caribou Mountains. It has a population of about 1400 people and its economy is based on forestry, ranching, and a very strong tourism industry. The area is renowned for its adventurous side, with whitewater rafting and canoeing, heli-hiking high up to the glaciers and alpine meadows, fishing in the crystal-clear lakes and glacier-fed rivers, horseback riding, and nature watching.
Conference location: Best Western Valemount Inn & Suites
What we will see...
Nearby Mt. Robson Park is the second oldest provincial park covering 224,000 acres and is home to the highest point in the Canadian Rockies, with Mt. Robson towering above the valley at almost 13,000 feet. This point is also the headwaters of the mighty Fraser River and home to the longest Chinook salmon run in the world. The area boasts spectacular views, glaciers, alpine lakes, waterfalls, and hiking trails. The Robson Valley is a truly a pathologist’s dream – a pure disease haven! This area is the most northern range of Armillaria ostoyae’s distribution in BC and there are currently several ongoing research projects that will be visited and discussed including aerial overview mapping procedures, population genetics studies, precommercial thinning and stumping operations, and long-term impacts of Armillaria in managed plantations. A pre-WIFDWC field trip will be arranged into the alpine to examine the status of the whitebark pine threatened by blister rust and mountain pine beetle in the northern Rocky Mountain trench and also embark upon a hike through alpine meadows to the mountain summit (Refer to Pre-WIFDWC Field Trip Info). Besides the spectacular vistas in the alpine, we will also be visiting a unique sand dune complex in the valley bottom with important and unique lichen and plant communities. This area is home to some of the most incredible lodgepole pine mistletoe in the interior of BC. We look forward to hosting you there!